Christmas has hit the city in a big way. The university orchestra is playing In the Bleak Mid Winter. Don't they know it makes me cry? It reminds me of being a little kid and we had the most wonderful Christmases. The Salvation Army used to come and they would play my very favourite carol and we would stand while they played in the porch at the side door on Christmas morning and when it snowed as it usually did on Christmas Eve ( I'm not exaggerating, this was the Durham fells ) I used to go outside with my little brother and sister and dance in the porchlight.
I want to be eight again when my mother made broth and we had big fires and my dad put lights all around the enormous window in the lounge and we would run down the garden to see how good the effect was and Christmas Day was a haze of presents and turkey and seeing my cousins up the dale and getting everything I wanted. I was indeed a very lucky little girl.
Santa. Only an hour from the border he plays the bagpipes for the solider's charity.My friends, Joan and John Gray,were working at the Victorian Fair up at the cathedral. They run a jewellery business, Sterling Crafts. I've known them for fifteen years, one of the kindest couples I've ever met.
The green man
The lady who runs Entropy Glass in her gorgeous hat.Little donkey, little donkey ...
When you're sixty Christmas is more a case of wondering whether you have enough champagne to see you past the films on television, all of which you have seen before, making sure the vegetarians get their nut roast, avoiding the cathedral so that I won't have a fog around me when they sing the inevitable Bleak Mid Winter carol ( last year they outdid me by having it two weeks early from a Canadian choir and slipped it in to confuse me, I just hoped the woman standing next to me thought I had a seriously bad cold ).
My lovely kid works in retail and the last damned thing she wants to see on Christmas Day is anything which needs a pan or an oven so we go out along with her lovely man who thank God is a meat eater. She has fish, we have beef and everybody is happy. Somebody else does the washing up and hopefully we will retire to the fire in their new two hundred year old cottage and all I have to get through after that is new year.
Don't start me on about new year, open sore of the single, unfavourite time of the widowed. The people next door to me used to go away and their kids would party.
I loved Boxing Day best of all, when I was married. We would go to the seaside, take the dogs and have a picnic. It's such a long time ago now but somehow I never get used to being alone. I miss Richard. I miss the dogs and the cats and the house in the country where we were happy and the little girl my daughter was. So I don't do In the Bleak Mid Winter, not very well that is.